First Semester of Grad School Done (I Lived…Barely)

Admittedly, this is not how I imagined my first semester of graduate school. Of course, I imagine that this semester for a lot of people did not go as planned. Tomorrow will be the virtual commencement for Spring and Fall graduates at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, and I know I’m not the only who is salty about that. Even though I am working on my master’s, I still wanted to walk down that aisle, probably lose my cap like I did during high school graduation and shake the Chancellor’s hand as I received my diploma after working my butt off for three and half years on two bachelors. Receiving both in the mail didn’t really feel real. Well, not until I put them in some fancy frames that I have yet to hang up. The point is, that no one’s semester went as expected thanks to COVID.

The school is a ghost school. Most classes are are online. My two classes, The Personal Essay and Memoir were online, though for Memoir we met every Tuesday up until the week after Thanksgiving. There were no events this year. Student life was basically nonexistent, and it’s because of that that my graduate assistantship at the Office of Communications and Marketing was different. I couldn’t go out and make videos and take photographs because there was nothing happening. While I still enjoyed my graduate assistantship, it had to change because of COVID.

In fact, so many things have changed because of COVID. And even when COVID is handled, however long that takes, things will still be different.

COVID has affected school, not just college but also K-12. A few of my professors kids have been doing virtual school and staying at home, all their coursework online. My brothers in Oklahoma had online school but also went in for a few weeks. Some schools are doing half and half.

COVID has affected jobs. Some people lost their jobs, while others were forced to work remotely. As someone who worked remotely, can I just say it sucks. Working from home is definitely not something I can do. I don’t have enough discipline to do it. And while, I loved being at home with my doggos and getting all the cuddles, eventually I got tired of being home. All. The. Damn. Time.

COVID has affected movie theatres, restaurants, theme parks, zoos, fairs, malls, etc..

The movie industry has suffered a lot because of COVID. Several shows such as The Walking Dead, Supernatural and countless others were put on hold and episodes not released until late summer or early fall. Movies such as Black Widow, A Quiet Place Part II, Wonder Woman 1984, and countless others were pushed back. Black Widow won’t be released until next year while thankfully, Wonder Woman 1984 will premiere in theatres and HBO Max Christmas.

There’s nothing that COVID has affected or changed.

So yeah, 2020 has been a rough year. Not only like, globally, but also in my household we’ve had a rough year. (A tree fell and broke our fence, my mom lost her job, my cousin Pagan broke her foot and found out she’s pregnant in the same day, Paul had his appendix out, and boy, I could go on, not gonna to lie. Also those are in no particular order.) We need someone to do a video summary of 2020.

I’m trying to look at the brightside of things.

I painted my room a mint green with one wall that has purple triangles on it. I love it. It’s unintentionally Joker theme.

My BFF Caroline came down from New York in May and I showed her Arkansas. (She wasn’t impressed. Lol.) She and I started a podcast, Disturbed Nerds. If you haven’t, check it out. It’s great. (I’m probably biased though, tbh.)

I met a guy and he’s cute and I like him.

Oh, and my girl, Taylor Swift released two new albums. folklore in July, and then evermore in December.

My sister had a healthy baby boy named Salem December 4th.

Oh, and I finished my first semester of grad school with an A and B! Which considering, I put in about like. . .minimum effort in my classwork this semester, is really good.

I have a new job at P. Allen Smith, a place that I actually interned at 2 years ago. P. Allen Smith does a lot of home, garden, design type stuff. You’ve probably heard of him. I’m going to be helping with upping their YouTube presence, video editing, and social media. I’m really excited about it. I’m also back at working at the school in undergraduate academic advising.

I’m taking the next two semesters off from school. I zoomed through my undegrad and never took a break, then jumped right into grad school without a break in between. I’ll start up classes again fall 2021. Until then, I’ll be working at P. Allen Smith and UA Little Rock, both part-time. Since I will have free time, I want to get back to a few hobbies of mine.

Such as:

  1. Drawing/painting/art in general
  2. Writing
  3. Photography/videography

That’s what I’m going to focus on. I miss drawing and using my Prismacolors. And I know I’m out of practice and I need to hone up those skills. Writing is very broad. I want to really work on this blog and blog every week, then go from once a week to maybe three times a week. Get on a really set posting so I can build more of an audience. I’m going to work on my poetry collection and really start on one of my three fiction stories I have. Photography, I want to break out the camera more and take pictures of well, everything and find what I really enjoy photographing. Also, I would love to make a short movie by next fall. We will see.

So, to all my fellow students, and well everyone, we made it. Keep trucking along. 2020 is almost over.

Check out my 2020 Wrap Up on Spotify. As usual, it is all over the place.

-K

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